Dobson's Bar & Restaurant
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Dobson's has been a favorite of our for years. Now with COVID, we recognize that we cannot expect the same quality of ambience and service as in the past. However, we made a reservation a week in advance and were greeted outside by a waiter looking at his phone and barely acknowledging us until we started to walk in. We were told we would have to sit outside even though this was not communicated at the time of reservation and even though there were empty available tables. We ended up sitting at the bar where we received good service from the bartender but it was not the Dobson's experience we remember. Generally disappointing.
We were sitting outside when it started to rain. They were ill-equipped to handle the rain. Our food was over done and dry.
I hate to leave bad reviews....We are so sad that Dobson's of old is completely changed! The wonderful mussel soup that my hubby looked so forward to was watery and the mussels were overcooked. We were a party of 4. My food was "fine" but everyone else said theirs was sub-par. The service was wonderful and they had live music in a truck. I would say they need a new chef-atmosphere and service was great.
We have always liked Dobson's. The new outdoor seating is very pleasant.
Longtime San Diegan’s but had never been. It was wonderful. The food was so good. The service was wonderful.
26 dollars for four scallops with nothing but the plate is a bit out there.
Great smaller French-inspired restaurant close to the Westin hotel and US Grant hotel. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic service was outside. Very friendly service and food selection, including seafood
Celebrating a friend
After a more than a 10 year absence, I went back to Dobson's and the food is delicious. I tried the beef short ribs and the file mignon and both were fantastic. I highly recommend Dobson's.
I was traveling from out of town and found Dobson’s on Yelp. I was greeted by a pleasant host and shown to a table outside. I ordered the Caesar salad, which had an incredible tasting dressing. For my entree I chose the braised short ribs. Perfectly prepared and just the right portion size. I really enjoyed by dining experience at Dobson’s.
Went here for my birthday and everything was perfect even during COVID. Had a live performer which made everything really nice and special. Food was outstanding!
Quaint, friendly service, this tight space pulled off social distancing well.
My wife and I bought tickets to a show @ the Civic Theater, so we thought we'd have dinner before the show somewhere in the same area. Dobson's came up on a Google search and I will say that having their menu online for my wife to be able to look at is what sold her. Dobson's is in the Spreckel's Theater building, so I am sure there is a long history to the restaurant. We were seated upstairs at the railing, so we had a view of downstairs and of foot traffic along the sidewalk on Broadway Circle. My wife, our 2 sons and I all chose a seafood dish. Our sons had the special, which was yellowtail, I had the sea bass, and my wife had the scallops. I think the 4 of us all agreed that the scallops was the best dish. Myself and the guys thought the dishes were a little small, especially for the price, and we ended up getting hungry again later. The sourdough bread that they served each of us before dinner was tasty.
I had a ono mushroom risotto that was simply outstanding. Flaky,done just right. Mushroom risotto was out of this world. My wives steak was also done nicely. Cooked to the way she ordered. Their crab bisque was and still is one of my favorite dishes anywhere. The flaky crust cover the bisque is light and adds just the right texture that highlights the very tasty crab bisque. Thinking of it,I want to go back. Crime brûlée was also very good. Server was friendly and attentive. Job nicely done. I’m ready to go back. It was a few years that we’ve been to that we fought the crab bisque. Thank to the person that thought out of my box to remind me of Dobson’s. Thanks trip advisor for this forum.
Always excellent. Great for before or after theatre. Date night, celebration, such great ambiance and food. Must always get the mussel bisque!
My wife and I went for Valentine’s night dinner because we had tickets to the ballet at the Lyceum. We had eaten at Dobson’s before and enjoyed. On previous occasions we had been seated upstairs which we enjoy but this time we were seated downstairs across from the bar. I assume this was because of heavy traffic for this evening. When we asked about upstairs we were told it would be difficult so we stayed downstairs.
We didn’t know that they had a special prix fixe Valentine’s menu but it looked interesting so we decided to take it. It was extremely good. We each had an appetizer, an entree, and a special shared dessert. We checked to see if thee was a choice for dessert since we didn’t want chocolate and were assured that there was. My backed oysters were outstanding one of the best preparations I have had and my salmon came with a silky sauce that was very light but creamy and silky smooth on the palate. My wife’s avocado with crab and lobster was excellent as was her fillet which was done medium rare as she requested. The dessert we received was a cheese cake creme brûlée and was excellent. We had a good glass of champagne before dinner that was included and I had a very good Pinot noir with my salmon. Other than the noisier seating it was an excellent dinner and a perfect Valentine’s evening.
We like the small restaurant ambiance. It is also close to the Civic Theater, Spreckels, and Balboa Theater. It is a perfect place for a pre-opera meal. If you order from the appetizer menu, you can enjoy great food and not guilty. But if you are in the mood, they also have very tempting entres. Enjoy
Great downtown establishment. Get the Mussel Soup!
Great experience all around. Delicious food and top notch service.
The filet mignon chez Martin was perfectly cooked and tasted great. The duck was cooked a little too medium and didn't seem like the fat/skin was rendered, so the skin was chewy.
Usually better. I like this place very much but this time—the food was not as good as usual: duck was tough & the usually great bread was only partly warmed.
We have stopped by Dobsons a few times in the past couple years and had good experiences so were excited to be there for apps and adult beverages before an early play. Unfortunately, the service was good but the food was not up to par. The mussel bisque lacked the sherry "float" on top until we had almost finished the soup, and our charcuterie platter did not come with the duck rillette described on the menu. We questioned our server and she took the platter back to the kitchen to show the chef the platter who identified the gray sausage on the platter as duck pate. We tried it but are sure it was some type of greasy pork. We've had the delicious duck rillette here before so know this sausage was not what we had ordered. It seemed there may have been a big party upstairs so staff were busy but not being served the correct food as ordered and as typically prepared was a disappointment. We didn't want to make a scene so we left the mostly uneaten platter on the table. We'll try this restaurant again on a quieter evening.
Wonderful experience as always
Great place for before or after dining theater. Makes nice combination of dinner and play or concert.
Terrible table upstairs by stairwell and bus station. Asked to move, couldn’t accommodate. Table was too small and not enough room for plates. Uncomfortable meal
Great food and service
Great Salad Nicoise!
Quaint, historical restaurant in the heart of the San Diego theatre district. Very cool.
Service was excellent, as was the food. The mussel bisque did not disappoint. Not new and trendy but comfortable and homey.
We used to love this restaurant but tried it for lunch and dinner and are very disappointed in the quality of the food now.
We had a wonderful dinner prior to a theater performance. The food was excellent, the service was terrific and we thoroughly enjoyed our evening!!
I love the location and ambiance. It reminds me of a small bistro in San Francisco. The food was great as usual. Love the bisque and the pork. Service is always good being located downstairs near the bar keeps it lively.
Our favorite place in San Diego. The service is great. Beet salad is delicious. Grilled shrimp was a little overcooked & dry. The filet is cooked to perfection. Short ribs are so tender & moist. Potatoes are delicious & veggies cooked to tender crisp. The BEST is the bread. Crisp & flaky on the outside & warm & tender on the inside with a delicious sourdough flavor. We’ll be back the next time we’re in San Diego
We eat there frequently. It is a a charming place.
Out with my Grandson and work friend. Food was great, service was good.
It was very busy and the server was slammed. It took a long tome to get main course as our food came at the same time as a table that ordered 20 minutes after us. My salmon appeared to have sat for awhile under a hot lamp. My friends scallops were delicious. The server was nice and apologetic. We had play tickets so we ate and left.
Excellent atmosphere coupled with great dood and service. Makes your evening special!
Great for pre or post-theater. We especially enjoyed the mussel soup in a lobster bisque, with French pastry topping and then a lovely dolly if sherry
The staff is lovely!
Dobson's Bar & Restaurant offers takeout which you can order by calling the restaurant at (619) 231-6771.
Dobson's Bar & Restaurant is rated 4.5 stars by 969 OpenTable diners.
Yes, you can generally book this restaurant by choosing the date, time and party size on OpenTable. Due to local restrictions, this restaurant may not be accepting reservations at the moment.